Carlsbad, New Mexico 


Carlsbad, New Mexico is a small desert town in Eddy County, New Mexico, most famous for its namesake National Park, Carlsbad Caverns. If you're traveling to Carlsbad Caverns on vacation, you're probably going to stay in town. With a little information planning, you needn't be bored in town. There are plenty of things in town to make your trip better.

Getting There

Carlsbad has a small intrastate airport with service from Albuquerque. It also has a TNM&O/Greyhound Bus line going through town. The town lies on the crossroads of highways 285 and 180/62.


Guests staying in Carlsbad will find a remarkable amount of activities to entertain themselves while in town.

  • The Living Desert Natural Park - a small, mostly outdoor zoo that focuses mostly on local fauna. Take a nice stroll early in the morning or later at dusk for the best weather.
  • The Carlsbad Mall
  • The Mall Cinema - Indoor 3 screen movie theater.
  • The Fiesta Drive-in - A real treat in this day and age, Carlsbad is home to one of the few still operating outdoor drive-in movie theaters in the country. Three massive screens show the latest movies, and audio comes over your car's speakers. Admission is cheap, and if you don't bring snacks, there is a concession stand.
  • Bowling Alley
  • The beach - a sandy spot on the Rio Pecos at the city's park. Feed the geese, rent a paddleboat or ride the riverboat.
    • On the Fourth of July, the city's firefighter put on a good size fireworks show right on the other shore of the river from the park. Locals pack into the park to watch, hang out, and BBQ. Bring chairs, and be prepared to walk a few blocks because of the parking situation. If you're in the area, it's worth it.
  • Just outside the city to the north is Brantley Lake.
  • TIP: If you befriend any of the locals, they'll take you out to spots on the Rio Pecos, such as "the chutes," "the ropes," and "diving rock."
    • The chutes is a land bridge over the river with three large tubes to allow water through. Locals use it as a spot to chill in the river, and usually bring inner tubes to go down the chutes. It is also a good starting spot for people looking to tube down the river (with diving rock being the best ending point. Have a car at diving rock.)
    • The ropes is another spot on the river with some old sturdy trees with a few old fashioned ropes you can swing off hillside with and into the river
    • Diving Rock is a massive 20 foot tall outcropping at a bend in the river that just also happens to be a deep spot. Generations of locals have been taking a leap off the thing. Never go out there alone, however, in case you do injure yourself.
  • And, of course, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, just a short drive south of the city, with its large open caverns, bat watching, museum, underground restaurant, and hiking trails.


Carlsbad has a varied assortment of national franchise and local restaurants. There are many fast food options, including three Subway Sandwich shops, two McDonald's, two Sonic Drive-ins, a Wendy's, a Taco Bell, KFC, and an Arby's. Pizza choices include Domino's, Little Caesars, and Pizza Hut, and local places like Pizza Inn and Pizza Mill. Sit-down options include a Chili's, a Denny's, and many local favorites like the "No-Whiner Diner" that can be counted on to have a clever message on its sign.

The city has three different Chinese food places, such as the Golden China Buffet, as well as a locally owned coffee shop, the Nazzbar (that does have internet access and some killer panini sandwiches. )

Places To Stay

Because of its proximity to a national park, Carlsbad has many motels to stay in. The Stevens Inn is the largest, with its own restaurant and bar.


The Stevens Inn has a bar, often with live bands playing on the weekend. There is also the Post Time Saloon, with two bars, a dance floor, two pool tables, and its own live bands at times. There is also a sports bar/grill in town.

Expanding Outward

50 Miles to the North lies the infamous UFO haven, Roswell, New Mexico. To the West in the mountains is Sitting Bull Falls.

Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad Caversn

Carlsbad Caverns Photos 

Cavern Photos - Page 2 

Carlsbad Caverns Photos - 3 

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